Chris Rock to Host the 2016 Academy Awards

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It’s official! Chris Rock will return to host the Academy
Awards live when it airs on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.

The 88th ceremony -- produced by David Hill and Reginald
Hudlin -- will be the actor’s second time hosting in just over a decade. “I'm so
glad to be hosting the Oscars,” Rock said in a statement to ET. “It's great to
be back.”

Rock, 50, first hosted the ceremony in 2005, when more than
42 million people tuned in to see Million
Dollar Baby
take home the Oscar for Best Picture. 

His return does come after some controversy over a joke Rock
made about Jude Law, suggesting he was nearly as talented as Tom Cruise. Sean
Penn responded to Rock while presenting the Oscar for Best Actress, saying Law
was one of the “finest actors” of this generation. Law himself even took issue
with the joke.

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“Then I got angry as his remarks became personal,” he told The New York Times one year later. “My
friends were livid. It's unfortunate I had five or six films come out at the
same time.”

But Rock’s hosting duties also earned him praise. “Chris
Rock hit a home run with his opening monologue, which was surprisingly pointed,
topical, and not shy of controversy,” Roger Ebert noted

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The Oscars will cap a banner year for Rock, who earned
critical praise for writing and directing Top
, appeared in season 2 of Empire,
and directed Amy Schumer's HBO stand-up special. 

Let’s hope Rock brings all the laughs in February next year
when the ceremony airs on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.